Twisted metal and ash, the smell of smoke still lingering in the air after a fire destroyed a shop storing farm equipment at Monarch Feeders early Friday morning.
The Nobleford Fire Department arrived on scene after receiving calls about the fire around 3:00 a.m. at the feed lot, just northwest of Monarch.
“By the time we got there it was fully involved so we went for a defensive operation and managed to save one of the vehicles and focused on the protection of the fuel tank that was right next to it,” Nobleford fire chief Ryan Wagner said.
The shop contained three feed trucks, two front end loaders, a welding truck, tractor and bobcat.
With the extent of the blaze additional support was called in from Picture Butte and Coalhurst.
“Water supply was a long ways away so Picture Butte with their tender supplied us with water and the operation went quite smooth with all departments,” Wagner said.
It took three hours but crews managed to contain the fire and protect two fuel tanks that were in close proximity.
Crews also prevented the fire from spreading to surrounding vehicles and cattle, some only a few feet away.
Partner at Monarch Feeders, John DeBoer learned of the fire after receiving a call from his neighbour.
“Clearly, we have a lot of equipment to replace everything was insured. The insurance people are hard at work already trying to get the claim underway,” he said. “They were already on scene the day after the fire, they responded very quickly to get us back to some sense of normalcy.”
DeBoer says in the meantime they’re able to carry on with generous help from neighbours.
“At 7:30 in the morning they had equipment and man power rolling in and we had so many phone calls with offers of extra equipment, extra man power, anything they could do,” DeBoer said. “We’re just really grateful for that.”
He’s thankful it was just equipment that was lost that day.
Fire officials say the estimated damage is around $1 million, the investigation into the cause is still underway.